The Pine Bough

Pine River School Newsletter, February 2023

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Global School Play Day

Over the decades, we have gradually taken more and more play away from kids and replaced it with structured activities, academic work, and digital experiences to the point where they hardly ever “play” at all. As this trend has continued, there has been a rise in childhood anxiety and a growing number of kids who simply don’t know how to play. Started in 2015, Global School Play Day is one day set aside for students to do nothing but play all day.

Again this year, Pine River is participating in Global School Play Day. We are following these three simple guidelines:

  • No Screens: Students are encouraged to bring toys, but electronic toys or any devices with screens should be avoided.
  • No Structure: Adults should not attempt to organize or structure student play in any way.
  • Stay Out of the Way: Adults should let students manage their own play and should not interfere unless there are safety concerns.

On Wednesday, February 1st, students can bring anything they wish to play with to school. The only restrictions we ask: they must bring toys and these toys may NOT require batteries or electricity. No devices. Some ideas are board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, racetracks, playing cards, empty cardboard boxes, markers, jigsaw puzzles, blankets (for forts), social games (charades, Pictionary, etc.) The only exception to the electronics rule would be a board game that has an electronic timer, an electronics play kit, or similar.

Teachers will communicate with families about their own individual guidelines and schedule.

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Winter After-School Enrichment Program

Dear Pine River Families,

It is with great excitement that we launch the return of our Winter After-School Enrichment Program! Classes begin next week and will run for five weeks, with the exception of our Wednesday class. The Wednesday class will begin on February 8th to avoid the PLC Early Release Day. If your child is participating in the program, please read the following information carefully.

Class Dates

Monday Classes - Jan. 30, Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 27, Mar. 6

Tuesday Classes - Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28

Wednesday Classes - Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Mar. 1, Mar. 15, Mar. 22

Thursday Classes - Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Mar. 2, Mar. 9, Mar. 16

There will be no classes on PLC Early Release Days or Half Days.


Good behavior is required for participation. Our ASEP teachers are volunteers. Some are middle and high school students. They do not have the training or experience to support students like our school staff. If your child struggles with independence or appropriate behavior, please attend the class with him or her (a current Volunteer Form must be on file). Any student who is disruptive will be asked to leave the program. We want all class participants to have a fun and rewarding experience.

Timely Pick-up

Classes end promptly at 4:45 p.m. Please be respectful of our volunteers’ time and arrive a few minutes early to ensure that you are at the door when students are released. Latchkey is available for those who are registered and scheduled.

Pick-up Locations

Students will be released at these outside doors.


Basketball - Main

Poms - Main

Music - Main

Bread - Main

Kindness - Door #16

Michigan Legends - Door #23


Board Games - Door #17

Robotics - Door #27

Soccer - Main

Origami - Door #16

Cheer - Main

Drawing - Main

Drumming - Main


Crafting - Door #17

Volleyball - Main

Watercolor - Main

Crocheting - Door #16

No Bake - Main

Paper Crafts - Door #26

Sign Language - Door #5

Lego Fun - Door #27


Dodge Ball - Main

Pokemon - Doors 26 & 27

Guitar - Main


Money for classes is due before the first class.


If you are volunteering for the program, please arrive by 3:40 p.m. at the front entrance.

Thank you to our PTO for facilitating this incredible program for our students!

Rachel Card

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Child Safety Matters

This year, we are bring the Monique Burr Foundation for Children's Child Safety Matters program to Pine River. Our students in grades K-4 will be receiving instruction that will empower them with information and strategies to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately to bullying, cyberbullying, all types of abuse, and digital abuse dangers.The program will be instructed by Lindsay Chopp of the St. Clair County Child Abuse & Neglect Council and will cover the following topics:

  • Safety awareness
  • Shared responsibility for safety
  • Safe Adults
  • Types of abuse
  • Red Flags
  • Safety Rules
  • Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Digital abuse
  • Digital safety tips
  • Digital citizenship.

Each grade level will gather together to receive an hour of instruction on two different days in March. The lessons are tailored to the age and developmental levels of the students in each particular grade.

If you would like to opt your student out of this program, please fill out the form linked below and return it to school by Friday, March 3, 2023.

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The Golden Dustpan Award

The Golden Dustpan Award was created to recognize the class that works the hardest over the course of a month to keep their classroom neat and clean. Each month, Ms. Carol and Ms. CeCe, our custodians, will choose a class and present the award. Students in the class will receive a class certificate, individual certificates, a class pizza party, and the honor of displaying the golden dustpan on their hallway cubbie.

For the month of January, Mrs. Ursitti's class earned this prestigious honor! Keep up the great work keeping your classrooms clean, Pioneers!

January 2023 Golden Dustpan Award
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Positivity Project Resources for Families

The mission of The Positivity Project is to empower students to build positive relationships with others and be their best selves as individuals. Each week at Pine River, we focus on one of the 24 character strengths that everyone possesses. Through lessons presented daily by their teachers, our students learn to be more self aware and self confident in the content of their own character. In addition, they learn to understand and appreciate these character traits in others. Together, we are building meaningful relationships and connections with one another that are essential for learning and growing.

Below is a link to resources to help our families support The Positivity Project at home.

Positivity Project for Families

Skyward Family Access

If you are already signed up for your Family Access account, there is no need to sign up again. If you have forgotten your password, please go to our website;, and hover over ‘Parents’ then click on Family Access. This will take you to a screen where you can click on Forgot your Login/Password, and then you can follow the links. To cut down on expenses and time, the only report card to be mailed home will be the final one at the end of the year. There is also a Skyward App available in your app store you can download for your phone. Please use this useful tool to monitor your child’s progress throughout the year. You will need to access Skyward in order to review your child’s report card.
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Pioneers of the Month

All of our students strive to be motivated learners, as well as model citizens. Each month we will honor students from each class who exemplify the following qualities:


  • Student prepares for classroom activities.
  • Student approaches learning with enthusiasm.
  • Student has made steady progress in the classroom.
  • Student has been working to his/her potential.
  • Student completes all assignments and homework.
  • Student has a good work ethic and is diligent.

Leadership/ Citizenship/ Character

  • Student demonstrates respect of self and others.
  • Student assists others in need.
  • Student shows acts of kindness.
  • Student demonstrates a positive attitude.
  • Student displays good conduct.
  • Student is a positive role model by example.
  • Student participates and puts forth full effort in all areas.
  • Student follows school rules.

Young Fives/Kindergarten

Mrs. Guzowski's Class: Teagan Jablonski

Ms. Brosky's Class: Avery MacIntosh and Jackson Quade

Mrs. Malburg's Class: Alexa Nickels and Hailey Nickels

Mrs. Schneider's Class: Vera Treadaway and Madilyn Muldermans

First Grade

Mrs. Bean's Class: Adilynn Bradford and Emerson Genaw

Mrs. Jensen's Class: Greyson Glaeser and Rayne Salisbury

Mrs. Trudeau's Class: Gavin Hohendorf and Mila Emerich

Second Grade

Mrs. Gorski's Class: Kaylee Jenerou-Ward and Henry Pokriefka

Mrs. Kenyon's Class: Tommy Shubnell and Alice Eggert

Mrs. McNeill's Class: Jeb Schweihofer and Vivienne Liniarski

Third Grade

Ms. Dewey's Class: Raegan Goodrich and Cole Deraedt

Mrs. Dodge's Class: Jameson Herrin and Madison Molesworth

Mrs. Wahl's Class: Violet Slota and Nolan Stockwell

Fourth Grade

Mrs. Huston's Class: Colton Bullock and Leah Varndell

Ms. Jakiel's Class: Skilar Mierendorf and Zoey Young

Mrs. Ursitti's Class: William Neiman and Serena Komarowski

C.I. Class

Mrs. Kierszykowski's Class: Aidan Brennan

Pioneers of the Month will be honored at our STARS assembly on Friday, February 3rd, at 2:45 p.m. in the gym. Parents of those students being recognized are welcome to attend. Please check in at the office first.

Yard Sign Pickup

Parents of our Pioneers of the Month may stop in and pick up a yard sign to display at home during the next month. Just buzz the office at the front doors when you arrive, and we will provide you with a sign.
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Good Behavior Tickets and Prizes

Students earn "good behavior tickets" when they demonstrate examples of positive behavior. Pioneers whose names are drawn on Friday morning are called to the office to choose prizes.

Mission: The mission of the Pine River school community is to work collaboratively, providing an enriched curriculum that allows for intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and creative growth in a positive and safe environment, empowering all children to become productive lifelong learners.

Vision: Pine River Elementary is dedicated to the belief that all students can learn and achieve through the combined efforts of the staff, parents, students, and community.